There will sometimes be situations when we feel like we have not done enough or demonstrably added value. On these occasions, it is useful to remember that sometimes, less is more.

Feeling the need

We have to be able to distinguish between the ego’s need to feel like it has helped and what is actually useful. Whether you are troubleshooting in business or counselling a friend, it is important to ask yourself:

“What will be most useful here?”

“What is required from me to support the person/situation?”

And, sometimes the answer might be “not very much that is tangible”. Your input might be limited to one or two very incisive questions. Or, it could even take the form of acting as a sounding board. Providing someone with structure and space within which to think is very powerful, though it might seem to you like you are not doing very much.

Focus on what is useful

Approaching situations in this way helps to focus the mind on what might be useful, rather than on our need to feel like we have added value. Through this, we might even become more aware of any tendencies to “jump in” and act before clearly understanding the situation. So, the next time you feel like you are not doing enough, ask yourself:

“Am I needing to feel that I have done something tangible? Or, is my intended intervention actually going to be useful?”

Remember that sometimes, less is more.